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    Description

    Important Pre-Classic Maya Jade Man on Throne

    Early Maya
    C. 200 BC-200 AD
    Jadeite
    6" Tall x 5¼" Wide x 3" Deep, 6¼ Lbs.

    A massive and important early carving in green jadeite. The carving depicts an obese seated man upon a bench type throne. His legs are folded upon the bench with incised toes, indentations to the sides showing the legs of the throne, his arms gently curving to meet at the chest, the enlarged face with socket eyes, drilled nostrils, grooved mouth, incised ears, and wearing a short cap with incised notches. The back has a deep spine, rolling, obese torso, and large buttocks. His massive weight fills the seat.

    The ancient Maya would frequently create stone images with multiplicity to the depictions, this, being an excellent and rare sized example. The man's arms are carved with a non-natural number of three bends before arriving at the hands; the detail indicates this curving form is probably a part of another image. When turning the idol upside down, the entire stone becomes a large jaguar deity face. The bench forms a flattened top of head and its feet becoming short jaguar-like ears. He has sharply arched brows, recessed round eyes, and the man's oddly undulating arms become this deity's cheekbones, feline nose, and whiskers or striping to the sides. The seated man's entire face becomes the deity's open mouth with down turned drilled corners. The man's incised feet become an Olmec-like flame brow. This image is best viewed from a profile.

    The direct side profiles, when turned upside down, show a standard Pre-Classic effigy of a standing man wearing a cap, having a large round head, arms upward curved to the chest, and thick legs narrowing to feet.

    As the Idol is laid upon the front face and viewed from the side, the bench legs become large round eyes connected to a thick head, its curving lower line delineating a wide mouth spanning from side to side, the midsection having curved legs with feet pointing forward, and having a very tapered rear. The details render an abstract toad or grasshopper effigy. Another view makes the throne leg into a 'swimming man' with the bench leg becoming his face staring forward, a torso, curving arms, and tapered legs, the cap becoming his feet with incised toes. This image would be associated with the ritual hallucinogenic ceremonies. In a very unusual detail for such idols, the top of the man's head has a drilled conical recess, possibly for an inlay now missing.

    The significant carving is an exceptionally large jade example, of which, only a handful of intact carvings are known in a comparable size or larger, the most prominent being the largest Pre-Columbian jade ever found, 'The Star of Belize', which weighs 9¾ pounds; this example is two thirds of that weight.


    Condition Report*: Condition report available upon request.
    *Heritage Auctions strives to provide as much information as possible but encourages in-person inspection by bidders. Statements regarding the condition of objects are only for general guidance and should not be relied upon as complete statements of fact, and do not constitute a representation, warranty or assumption of liability by Heritage. Some condition issues may not be noted in the condition report but are apparent in the provided photos which are considered part of the condition report. Please note that we do not de-frame lots estimated at $1,000 or less and may not be able to provide additional details for lots valued under $500. All lots are sold "AS IS" under the Terms & Conditions of Auction.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    September, 2011
    16th-17th Friday-Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 3
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 2,989

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    19.5% of the successful bid (minimum $14) per lot.

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